Positively Honest

I would love to sit down and write hearts and flowers nonsensical prose, but right now, it isn’t where I am. Also, if I ever DO write anything remotely like that, please send men in white coats to do a psych eval.

Life is crazy at the moment. My primary care doctor is leaving, so even though I will be handed off to another physician during the remainder of Covid (Someone to authorize three of my prescriptions a month and handle a few referrals.), I will still need to find a new doctor for post-Covid care. 😦 This sounds like no big deal, but could take 6-18 months in total. I’m talking from experience. It will be my fourth primary care doctor, too. If you’ve been lucky enough to never have to change doctors, kudos to you, but I have lived in many different places and in each place, I’ve needed a new doctor. In Massachusetts, primary care physicians aren’t very good, so this should explain why I am extremely nauseated at the idea of a fourth one since moving here.

I’ve been dealing with self-induced stress, because I am always in fight or flight mode. It’s not a good place to be, but it’s how you survive, sometimes with (or without) lasting damage. I am doing my best to pull myself out of the quick sand. I’ve asked no one for help, nor have I discussed this with anyone. My independent streak about many things is taller than I am, but at the end of the day, no one else can credit themselves for digging me out of my own pain and suffering.

I’ve made some important decisions over the past six months. “Invest in yourself” is the best advice I can offer up to anyone, at any stage of their life, and I am proud of myself for following through on this, and continuing to make investments as I move forward. A few more steps and I’ll be sharing a whole new venture with all of you. One I know will be better at maintaining connection. 🙂

In the past year, I’ve realized connection, in all forms, is quite important to me. I can’t express enough disgust at those who’ve not even bothered to check in or ask if I’m okay. That’s doing less than the bare minimum in a friendship, and I don’t need friends like that. I am not a surface level friend in any way, shape, or form. I like depth, partly because I can talk about anything, but have no patience for small talk. I catch myself tuning out the second the subject matter isn’t of a higher level. It’s sad, really, because far too many people prefer to stay surface level. It’s boring.

When all of this craziness began last year, I reached out to everyone I consider a close friend or family member, and I included a few people I’m not the least bit close with anymore, because it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped caring. It was disheartening to watch, as the year came and went, very few people remain connected. It must be nice to live in your own bubble and not care about anyone else (Yes, that’s sarcasm.). I can’t relate to that kind of behavior because, as a writer, I live inside my head, but I do come out to check on those in my world. I don’t pretend I’m too busy or that a text or a few lines of an e-mail is too much work for me to fit into my day. That would be bullshit. I can track how much time I spend promoting on social media, and I can always reduce that time, or multitask.

I am learning that it’s perfectly okay to move on without closure. I am learning how to do this because I don’t aim to come off as a bitch. It isn’t who I am, but am I ending friendships which, if you follow the Marie Kondo philosophy, aren’t bringing me joy? HELL YES. Especially if there’s nothing to hold onto.

Friendship, and all relationships, are built on a foundation. If both of the people involved aren’t doing the work, why should one person alone carry all the weight? They shouldn’t. I will not allow myself to feel guilty for cutting people off. Clearly, no one cares enough to even realize they’ve been cut off, so it goes.

I have to thank all of the new subscribers. It is such a joy to reach out to you and realize I AM connecting with a broader audience. I appreciate all of you. Every time I log in and see new subscribers, I feel proud of what I’ve been doing with this site. Many readers have been with me for YEARS, and I feel blessed knowing I still keep you reading. I’m never 100% sure why, but I do feel that people relate, and therefore, they connect to the things I talk about.

Of late, my time has been spent in rewrites. I am trying to complete a novel for sale. Not because I have to, but because I want to establish growth. I read plenty of fiction (The darker, the better.), but writing it is different. My entire career has been based on truth, and I feel confident in the things I have written which have made an impact on others. I’m not good when boxed into one category, because I know I can do more than that.

I remember, quite vividly, shredding years and years of fiction before I moved away from home. If I think back to those days, I remember trying to develop compelling characters. It was, quite frankly, a never-ending story that I eventually saw for what it was. Thus, the shredding. Coming out of that experience shuddering, and embarrassed, I knew any fictional work I might do in the future would have to grab the attention of the reader immediately. I’ve already got editors breathing down my neck for this novel, so I’ve thrown myself head first into rewriting and developing the characters into multifaceted jewels.

I am confident in how the process is going. Instinctively, I know when something is working and when it is not. I trust my own judgment. Someone recently told me that because I trust my judgment, I don’t seek approval from others. They were accurate in this assessment. I will only ask questions if I’m unsure about something, and this rarely pertains to what I write. I write specific material, but I know a lot of my personality shines through. Sarcasm, humor, and wit, can all be involved in serious subjects. If you lose those things, you lose the individual voice.

Other things are happening, too. I am looking at almost all of it as positive. Sometimes, things occur and I am reminded of my strengths and how much I can achieve. Those are good moments, but we all have to take a step back at times and remind ourselves to achieve without feeding the ego, the superego, or the Id. I have watched people, over the past few years, truly feed their superego and it is such an immense turnoff. I choose not to say anything to them because you can’t talk someone down from that level. It slowly becomes a disease and I’m not trained to deal with everyone’s disease-feeding. Factor in that we all know someone who has reached this level of narcissistic behavior, and they now feel free to share their hideousness with the world. Over time, it is shown for the cancer on society it truly is. Add in closet racists and it’s very easy to see why many people choose to fully back away from society at large.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead. Mine involves some stress. I am meeting a new doctor this week (a specialist) and have had the appointment for five months. Before I got an appointment, I waited eight months just to get the phone call! Here’s hoping it goes off without a hitch. Fingers crossed.

Boker Tov,

copyright © 2021 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. Excerpts and quotes from the material also require consent. This authors’ work and personal photos are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws. Further protection is under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Yesterday

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Yesterday was one of the most jolting experiences I’ve ever personally witnessed. It might rank up in my top five. My body is still in fight or flight mode, and I don’t feel it ending any time soon. 😦 I have tried to take my anger out of the equation, but that has left me with intellectualized emotions and truthfully, a different level of anger. Make no mistake, I am traumatized by what I witnessed (I will be writing about it. I got about eleven hundred words written before I crashed from lack of sleep and the intensity of everything I was feeling.), appalled by the way the incident was handled, and I am angry. Beyond angry. Angry for the mental health community, which I am a part of. Angrier at the hateful, racist, power-hungry, assholes hiding behind a device, and those who thought, and believe, that aggressive actions were justified. They weren’t. I feel nothing for those who acted inappropriately yesterday. But I do feel they all need to be publicly punished and re-trained.

Yesterday, my cousin, brother, and a dear friend helped keep me calm-ish, sane, and unknowingly let me know they are concerned for my overall well-being, safety, mind, heart, and soul. I kept expressing my gratitude to them. 2020 has shown me a lot about who cares about me, and who will drop everything to help me in a crisis. I’m content with the lower numbers because it helps me prioritize and eliminate. Clearly being able to see people as they are is an important ability to have.

It’ll be a while before I feel I can finish writing about what happened. I did not expect to be so triggered, so angry, and so concerned for others. My response wasn’t for me; it was a response based solely on extreme concern. It was a response that will be a guiding force as I embark on a new path. It is a response I cannot hide because no one was telling the truth. It is a response, and a catalyst, to get louder about speaking the truth.

Witnessing someone experience something heinous, something you know was likely their worst nightmare, puts you in an uncomfortable position. I was attacked for my honesty. People who immediately attack honesty are well aware they are lying and covering up bad actions. Not on my watch, and this will potentially put my safety at risk. I have considered this for over twenty-four hours. I cannot sit back and remain silent when I encourage others, every single day, to stand up for their rights. How can I tell thousands of people each day to use their voice if I sit back in silence and refuse to do the same? I am many things: imperfect is high on the list, but I’m NOT a fucking silent coward, nor am I a hypocrite. No one raised me to be a punk ass bitch. If you don’t like my phraseology, take a walk.

This week my life roles were discussed. They were discussed less than a day before this incident occurred. We all have roles in life, different hats we wear, so to speak, but I’ve always been the strong protector. It’s not just a role, it is who I am. Injustice and abuse are two things that will set me off like a spaceship, and I highly recommend people step back because an honest person speaking about injustice and abuse is a dangerous person.

I honestly come here and talk about mental health and my own personal diagnoses. I don’t do it for myself; I do it so others know they are not alone and they, too, can seek help. Yesterday was the second time I’ve ever wished I was a lawyer and could properly defend someone. I don’t ever want to be put in that position again.

We all have things we believe in strongly. Each of us has a personal, “Don’t go there.” zone, whether we discuss it or not. For some, it is their family. For many, it’s their children, or their pets, or both. For me, it’s many things, but the line was definitely crossed and I can’t unsee a moment of it. I had to take medicine last night to ward off potential nightmares, but in the waking hours, I can’t hide what I think or feel, nor do I want to.

During many times in my writing career I’ve heard people say, “Wow, that took balls.” They have no idea. I’m currently in another “balls to the wall” moment, and I don’t intend to lie about it or pretend it was justified. I have to do what I encourage others to do. I have to use my voice and push for change. Wish me luck.

© 2020 by Lisa Marino and Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

 

Ignoring The Crossroads

When I decided to take “Poison In Lethal Doses” from a printed, exclusive, personally publicized format to an online, public, still personally publicized, but zero profit format, I opened it up in a way I wasn’t quite expecting. I won’t lie; having experience helped. Having confidence helped even more. In no way was I “just starting out” or “testing the waters. I had an established portfolio. I had a built-in following. I did not feel the least bit hesitant about this next step. I came from a place of confidence and knowledge.

To this day, I still feel blessed to every single person who helped me pave my own path. Especially the teachers I had in the New York City public school system. They broke the mold with those original English, History, and Science teachers who took a shine to me, and the many who kept in touch with me for years after I graduated. Between them and my Mom believing in my work, I was able to shed my skin and focus solely on what I wanted to do.

When I worked in Public and Fan Relations for professional  athletes (FYI: I am entirely self-taught in this particular field. It always seemed to work smoothly, despite the difficult people I worked on behalf of. I actually walked away without references or letters of recommendation simply to get out of an increasingly toxic environment. I have no desire to return to that kind of work, but if I had to do it again, I am fully capable of doing it for myself or for someone else. That’s a skill set you can’t be taught; you either have the ability to do it or you don’t. Knowing how to do it and do it well is a gift. I am grateful for the opportunities and experience, and proud of myself because I took it on and made a name for myself. Don’t be afraid to be an assertive individual who can take charge; sometimes doors open for you because of that tenacity.), people told me I was too talented to waste my time in those roles. Essentially, they were right. To a degree; as I am a relatively ego-free individual. I walked away because I outgrew it. Sometimes, a dramatic change is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. Even still, it took time to be comfortable being the main focus at all times, and yet it’s completely gratifying, based solely on the feedback I receive, and knowing when something I’ve written is good, or not.

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A few months ago, I changed my Instagram handle and decided to make “Poison In Lethal Doses” my main focus, personally and professionally. There are two separate accounts for this on Instagram, and I have since expanded with a second Twitter feed for a new project. I quietly made plans for expansion this year, and I know I can work hard to achieve launch by year’s end. I may be planning and God may be laughing, but I’d rather plan and create something successful, funny, entertaining, and relatable, as opposed to not planning at all and sticking to the status quo. That isn’t enough for me; ergo, new project.

The craziness and uncertainty of the Coronavirus cannot be allowed to stop everything in my life, so I put my foot down and made some decisions. I will keep making those decisions and prepare to achieve a goal I feel is quite doable. Like anything else, it does require patience and a considerable amount of startup material from me, but I have to stop underestimating myself. I’ve already achieved things most people haven’t, so this is a period of reflection for me. I need to remind myself who I am and what I am capable of. I’m not going to place an expiration date on myself with this.

Over the past few years, I have felt like I was in an episode of Supernatural, waiting for a crossroads demon to appear, and grant me my deepest, darkest wish in exchange for my soul. Hey, you can laugh, but stranger things have happened. The last time I felt this way my life took a sudden, and extremely drastic turn. It was something I was completely unprepared for, yet I handled it to the best of my ability. Soon after, the path was lit up and clear. But now? Now there’s just me in the center, and what seems to be a hundred different forks in the road in every possible direction. I actually found myself doodling this precise visual when I was on hold one day. When I glanced down, I realized my subconscious was in perfect understanding and agreement with my current thoughts.

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Moving forward, this is maybe the second time I get to make the decision for me, and me alone. I don’t have to factor anyone else into the equation. I am not responsible for anyone else, and I do not have to feel a sense of responsibility for others, either. I am free to do this for myself. And anyone who is a part of my life can choose to grow with me, or go off on their own. It’s a little unnerving to feel so rootless, but another side of me wonders if this isn’t the entire point. Be rootless. Follow your own arrow/path. Let other people do their own thing, and don’t read anything into their decisions, focus ONLY on yourself and where you want to be. People often refer to this as, “being selfish”. It’s not selfish. It’s prioritizing. As someone who isn’t selfish, I would know the difference quicker than someone who is predominantly selfish and has never considered another person in their entire life.

When I am making big decisions and I’m questioning myself, or feeling like there’s major risk involved, I will often turn to a deck of tarot cards to give me a little guidance. The Rider-Waite deck never fails to put me at ease. I do this once or twice a year, if that. The cards are honest. If they tell me my path is unclear, they aren’t kidding. For years, I would pull many of the same cards and be told to be patient until things became clearer. My most recent reading has some insightful, positive reality in it.

Drawing the Two of Wands in my chosen reading is about a challenge to learn to use downtime productively. Certain aspects of creativity require leisure. There is no available energy for forward progress at this time, so I am advised to rest and restore myself. Rather than waste time during such an opportunity, I am to use it for relaxation or meditation. I am not to worry about how to orchestrate things just yet; but open myself to the sights, sounds, and realities of the situation as it is. This will put me in a more favorable position when the time for action arrives.

Like I said, it was insightful and positive. It’s also true. I have been stressed about the orchestration because it feels like a lot of things need to get done in a short period of time, but I’m going to live and let myself be guided. I don’t need to have all the answers in this precise moment. I do, however, need to breathe and refocus.

I was impressed that the cards immediately picked up on this for me. When I am choosing my cards, I make sure to pull only when I feel 100% positive that I am making the right selection. Not once have they lied to me, and since you’re using them as a guidance tool, accuracy is awesome. Sometimes a message might be confusing, until months later.

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I do not feel like I’ve had a moment of true “downtime” during quarantine, or even now, as states are in different phases of reopening, or in some cases, going backwards. My strongest sense is that we might end up at square one, locked down again, based solely on my sense of things and the number of cases escalating each day. I don’t know if all jobs will be affected a second time or not.

If you thought it was perfectly okay to go on a big vacation to another country during all of this, I hope your idiocy doesn’t land you in a hospital somewhere. People have taken to social media to share photos of vacations they are currently on, which I find ignorant and highly irresponsible. Especially the people who said, “We were bored, so we took our newborn and went to visit family.” Or the people who went away for six weeks to two different European countries (to visit family with their eight month old) where the numbers aren’t good. Did you just have a face palm moment? Yeah, so did I, after I rolled my eyes to South Korea and back. There’s a ton of irresponsible, and downright egotistical behavior going on. We’ve already been told that traveling isn’t 100% safe (and I’m talking about the airport terminals above all else. You can’t tell me they’ve ALL been sanitized within an inch of their lives, or that they’re sanitizing hourly.), and many countries will not allow Americans entry. People are truly showing their privilege, and it’s disgusting, yet important to see people for who they truly are. If you do something stupid and make it public, people have the right to call it out as irresponsible. I say this as an imperfect person. I’m not doing things to put myself, or others, in harm’s way. I am trying to be as smart as humanly possible at all times, even though it’s boring as all get out and work has been difficult.

This is a time where the perfectly healthy should count their blessings hourly, and display some compassion for those of us who are at risk. I have multiple autoimmune diagnoses, so every time I go out wearing a mask and no one other than me keeps their distance, I am more at risk than the healthiest person.

I don’t have the patience to argue the fact that masks are necessary, but WEAR A DAMN MASK. I wear gloves, too. Most people do not. I dispose of these items in a garbage bag, NOT in the parking lot of the store I just left. That’s disgusting and completely disrespectful of the employees who will later have to clean that mess up and risk further exposure. Who raised all these assholes? I also want to address the lack of social distancing. The next time someone walks past me like I’m invisible, I cannot be held responsible for my actions. I’d also like to maintain six feet of distance between myself and others after we’re free of this virus, because I think it’s a good idea. Yes, I am being entirely serious. I have no clue where some of these people have been.

The wearing of a mask is extremely claustrophobic and disorienting for me. It really effects me in a negative way. I’ve come close to the occasional nervous breakdown wearing one in public, but I still do it because it’s nonnegotiable. Even when I’m convinced I can’t breathe. Or when I’m close to having a panic attack. Let’s face it; we are all trying to cope with them. I would say most of us are doing the best we can, and that’s reasonable and fair. It does not mean you need to be glued to the news 24/7. That’s not healthy for any of us, but I do understand the fears many have. Especially as we go into learning that babies and children have always been at risk, and we’re seeing this with numbers of infant and toddler cases globally.

Like anyone else, I know the economy needs to be infused with business. I know many restaurants and small businesses are rapidly declining, as well as enormous businesses. I have noticed the immense increase in online shopping in my own neighborhood (not just for groceries). I have had so many companies reach out to me with products they want reviewed over the past six weeks or so, and I feel inundated at times because I’m trying to figure out what to do with all of it. I am doing more brand calls than normal, which is great. I am in a certain level of professional element when working with different types of brands, and it is wonderful when the point person for certain brands e-mails me later on to say, “They really like you. They said you had the most insight out of anyone else they spoke to.” This kind of feedback is what gets you involved with more and more brands. Of late, it’s been less about the fact that they’re paying me and more about the fact that my mind is being challenged. Be it for phone calls, video calls, or product reviews for websites, it feels good to be challenged in positive ways right now. I have had to rid myself of negativity and toxic people during this situation. There’s only so much I can do, or so much effort I can give before I burn out, especially when your efforts aren’t appreciated or respected. I am putting a lot more boundaries in place now, and they are necessary. I’ll address this at another time, but basically, I get it. I understand where people are coming from. Hopefully most people get where I’m coming from, too.

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As I “ignore the crossroads”, things will slowly fall into place. Big change is coming and I am open to the positive energy of this change. I want goal-oriented change. I embrace it. I hope you’ll all be there with me and that prioritizing, “Poison In Lethal Doses” will come to mean as much to you as it does to me.

May my message always find you well.

lisa

*Horizontal rules are free to download at: bellsnwhistles.com <<—Link attached.*  

copyright © 2020 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Fourth of July Caturday

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This year was extremely frightening and traumatizing for my cats. They were terrified in a way I have never seen before and I pray I never see it again. I am outraged by the crap my neighbors pulled. The streets were full of smoke, cars couldn’t get through, and it was a major problem waiting to happen if, G-d forbid, an ambulance or fire truck needed to get through. Visibility was extremely poor. Whatever people are using that sounds like an explosion going off was awful for my own trauma history. I’m actually relieved I have a phone appointment with my doctor next week. This was BAD and continues to be worse with every passing moment.

Telehealth and A Scheduled Appointment

After a failed attempt last month to have a discussion with my headache specialist regarding my migraines getting worse, today was my first successful Telehealth discussion, and it felt good. Really good.

If you have a doctor who actually cares, regardless of their field, this is not a difficult process. However, it has lead me to realize that my headache specialist has no patience and is a difficult person. I respect her, but I can’t work with someone who has no respect for me as a patient. I’m just a medical record number to her. There are many appointments where she spends a good five minutes reciting names, and the entire time, I know she’s looking for me, but since she doesn’t look at anyone, it’s good to wait until you hear some version of your name. She usually starts with Erica, and unless I see Erica there, because I’ve learned who is scheduled at the same time as me, then I immediately know she will eventually have a practice assistant approach her to read the proper name off the paper in her hand. She never seems to recall even the most basic info about me, so I wait until she logs into her computer. When a physician has said to you, on four separate occasions, “Is this your first visit?”, it’s startling that faces are blending into the woodwork for them.

Moreover, there is never a valid reason for a doctor to raise their voice and/or yell at you, but she felt perfectly comfortable doing so over the phone. If you’re going to yell at me and talk to me like I’m a moron, it will never get you the desired response. Not ever. I’m not an idiot and I am not new to any of what I am experiencing. Doctors who talk down to you aren’t doctors you need in your life. I feel the same way about regular people, too.

If you suffer from chronic migraines, you probably already know that enormous doses of vitamin B2 and magnesium aren’t going to fix anything. I can only take the magnesium once every few days. and B2 doesn’t seem to make any kind of difference. This is not my first migraine rodeo. She shouldn’t tell me it’s “perfectly safe” when she didn’t bother to see if I am vitamin deficient before demanding I increase my supplements. Instead, she placed blame on a myriad of other issues, and then tried passing the buck to another doctor. That’s not going to work with me because I’m an educated patient and her screaming at me did not garner a positive reaction.

What galls me even more is that she actually billed for a conversation that didn’t even last ten minutes. I contemplated a phone call to my insurance company about this, since their requirements state it must be at least fifteen to twenty minutes via phone in order for any of my healthcare providers to bill for Telehealth, but since they already paid, I’m not going to argue the point. Yes, we all deserve to be compensated for our time, but rules ARE rules and she dismissed me, as opposed to having an intelligent discussion. I am going to ask for a secondary neurologist (as an alternative opinion) as soon as things are safe to proceed medically because she doesn’t want to order tests or talk over treatment plans with me. She is the first neurologist who refuses to put an emergency plan in place into my chart. Every other neurologist handed me a note for any potential trips to the emergency room because every emergency room or Urgent Care finds it so much easier to treat you if they have instructions on how to do it. We are all different and what works for Patient A and Patient B probably doesn’t work for me. I refuse to set foot in an emergency room ever again, but even my last Urgent Care experience was poor care, and it didn’t even involve migraines. Poor care seems to be the status quo, but I am fighting to change that because I’m not the only person who has had enough of the bullshit.

This incident made me even more grateful to have a tuned in discussion with someone today, and to have the take away be that I am doing my best and that the things that are creeping up out of the woodwork are things we will address and gain control of over time. A collaborative relationship is so much easier, and calmer, than a relationship where a physician thinks they can dictate your treatment to you. I hope she doesn’t have children, grandchildren, pets, or even a plant, because I’ve found, over time, that the way the majority of medical professionals behave at work is also how they behave in their daily lives. Others are clearly living a duplicitous existence because they’re only nice to their family or their patients, not both. Yes, I speak from personal experience.

Today, I was notified that my headache specialist will be honoring my treatment for this coming Wednesday. Do I think it’s an essential appointment? I don’t know, but I do know that I’m sick and that I would likely get worse without it. Thanks to a cancellation, my appointment was moved up, so that helps a bit, but having to wear a mask and gloves into a medical building is anxiety waiting to happen. The mask makes me terribly claustrophobic. I’m agitated just thinking about it. A lot has changed since my last treatment in February. I am hoping this one works well and that I am not in the building any longer than necessary. If I didn’t feel the treatment was working, I would reschedule, but I’m going. The mask and gloves redefine “Mugger Chic”. 😉

I am not feeling anxious or stressed over Covid 19. I’m just more self-aware and mindful regarding everything, and I am sure many of us feel the same way.

I’ll be fine and I have another Telehealth conversation scheduled for next Friday, so if I’m not fine, there’s someone on the other end who gives a shit, and that is comforting to know.

© 2020 by Lisa Marino and Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)

 

I take this moment to remember all of the people who were murdered during the Holocaust, including members of my family, where only a handful survived.

The Holocaust was not “just Jews”, but Gypsies, the disabled, the elderly, LGBTQ, and anyone who dared to speak up against the “process” of Hitler’s twisted ideas, including, but not limited to, their own people, as well. Ideas he shared with millions, including Muslims who agreed that Jews needed to be “eliminated”. This mindset is still living in 2020. Be careful what you believe about people when you aren’t certain where the hatred ever stemmed from.

Please know that people weren’t simply murdered. Millions were tortured, beaten, starved, shot, experimented on before they were killed, and the list of atrocities goes on and on. Women, children, men; the Nazi regime did not discriminate and they did not act alone.

We are experiencing dark times globally with a pandemic, but I’m going to remember to be grateful. For as imperfect and as broken as I am, as this world is, it is still repairable. We can still make the choice to do better, to be smarter, to be healthier, to be stronger, and to unite, instead of allowing hatred to divide us.

We may not all share the same views, but we can choose to be respectful of each other. May G-d keep you all safe, sound, and healthy. May the plague of Coronavirus steer clear of us all, for no one deserves to die alone.

Honor The Fallen. I always will.

lisa

Confrontation

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Anyone who has read my work for more than a month or two can likely tell you basic things about my character. My friends can tell you precisely who I am and what I stand for.

My own brother has described me as, “The last person I ever want to disappoint because you’re scarier than Mom and Dad combined. I’m more scared of your reaction than I am anyone else’s.” I was surprised to learn this, but it explains his behavioral patterns around me because he knows I see through all the bullshit.

Whenever someone describes me, these are the key words used: Honest. Loyal. She says precisely what she means; there’s zero sugarcoating involved. She’s not exceptionally forgiving, and that’s because she knows the difference between a mistake and patterns.

One of my own physicians said he knows I don’t hold back and he respects that because he sees other people do it and wonders what they aren’t saying, but never wonders with me because I’m not afraid to be forthcoming and extremely honest about everything. When I hear myself described like that, I know I am a solid person, regardless of what the occasional idiot may think or be stupid enough to say.

In life, forgiveness is something people have to earn. Once you break my trust, will I forgive you? Or will I listen, merely because I prefer closure? I suppose it depends on the person, but I am now faced with this in my real life.

Early this morning, something popped up in my Facebook memories that pissed me off. I was so angry for a moment, I saw red. Red is a warning sign. It’s like blood spatter to Dexter Morgan. Anger fuels me to be a better person, but that moment where I see red? That’s dangerous.

A former friend who made plans with me and then texted, weeks prior to arrival, to say her boyfriend had scheduled a private tour of the zoo the day we intended to meet up decided to pop back up with apologies. In truth and fairness, I baited her because I was enraged by what I saw.

When she had originally asked if I could make time during the month of May to meet up because she couldn’t wait to see me and missed me, I set an entire day aside, and not for nothing, it was the anniversary of my mother’s death which is SO hard for me. Lesson learned; I will never do that again, especially not for someone who flakes on me.

Quite frankly, I am astounded that anyone over the age of twelve, or someone studying certain forms of biology and/or science, would desire a tour of a zoo. 🙄 It breaks my heart to see animals in captivity. The only thing I do appreciate is the preservation of big cats. Leopards, certain types of tigers, cheetahs, and some of the smaller exotic cats are becoming extinct. This is not news, though. I don’t want to live in a world where these amazing creatures do not exist. I appreciate the wild preservation of their habitats in South Africa immensely, especially all the work being done in Namibia. However, that’s not what angered me.

It was not a change of plans, as she seems to believe, but the disrespect of my time and not immediately standing up to said boyfriend and letting him know that she already had plans that day. You can’t text me and say, “Just FYI, he scheduled a tour of the zoo that day. He’s trying to change it, but…” But nothing. I replied by saying, “I don’t even know how to answer that, so I won’t.” That moment, right there, is when you reschedule or call me about alternatives. You address it in the moment. Especially since she’s here at least 2-4 times a year to visit him.

The post in my “memories” credited me for the friend I am to her, and after deleting my initial response from two years ago where I stated that I’d always have her back, I let it be known that real friends learn how to apologize so they don’t lose their ride or die support system. She immediately replied with an apology and wanted to get into it. 😒 It’s pretty sad when someone waits and waits before they finally get called out. My anger was my error at seeing this proclamation which feels faker than a three dollar bill, and feeling as though a nearly eight year friendship was a total lie.

When a person says they were ashamed and too shy to contact you because they figured you needed time to forgive them, I find that a mixture of pathetic and laughable. I’m not a rabid beast; you just have to communicate properly. All she had to do was reschedule and be respectful of my friendship and time. That’s how adults resolve things. I would also love to know why she thinks I’m going to forgive her, because if you know me, you know forgiveness isn’t a likely scenario. I’ve got boundaries and self-respect.

Also, and this is important: I don’t permit men to tell me who I can and cannot be friends with. Nor do I allow men to make decisions for me OR disrespect my friends and family. I’d sooner stick a fork in his thigh. I’m not someone’s mouthpiece or tool, and I do not suffer fools. I’m not some delicate little flower. I am a lotus.

If you’re in a controlling relationship, naturally that person doesn’t want you to be around friends who are loyal, honest, smart, make you laugh, and who, up until this occurred, I would have cheerfully shot in the leg and buried alive. I will never, EVER support a friend who chooses to remain in an abusive relationship simply because they see the abuse as a form of love. I assure you, I’ve lived it and witnessed it, and it’s NOT on the same plane of existence as love. Perhaps some beggars refuse to make the choice for themselves because they’re not strong enough.

An abusers’ ultimate goal is to isolate you from your friends and family almost entirely. The sad part is that so many people let the abuser win. If you confront that friend, suddenly you’re labeled as “jealous”. 🙄😂 No sweet pea, I feel sorry for you. No one sane wants to be in an abusive relationship, and I will absolutely give you credit if you have gotten out of one. By “you”, I mean whoever is reading this and nodding their head in agreement because they understand what I’m saying. They understand because they’ve escaped the madness and uncertainty of being in a relationship with a gaslighting, narcissistic, abusive, disrespectful jack ass.

Instead of letting this discussion become Facebook fodder, I replied by saying we should discuss it privately. I don’t do drama on my page at all. Also, I need time before I say anything, but I’m willing to hear the nonsense out. Perhaps I’ve already made my decision and DO want closure. I’m not entirely sure. In truth, I am still so angry that anyone thinks this is acceptable treatment of a friend who has been the highest quality friend one could have or hope for.

An old friend once said, “Lisa isn’t to be trifled with.”, and I think that sums things up nicely. People assume I’m nice, sweet, caring, kind, and a host of other things that nauseate me. Clearly, I have my moments and some good qualities or no one would ever be able to call me a friend, but the second you cross over the line, you’re going to meet the other side of me. The one I often refer to as “The Dragon Slayer”. When you meet that other person who is professionally icy, you might not know what to make out of her. That’s okay. She’s already seen you coming from a hundred miles away and she’s not in the mood to psychologically break you into bits, but she will, if necessary. Many women are as multifaceted as what I’ve just described. We can be your best friend, your biggest supporter, or we can be an enemy. The grey area is ambivalence. It always is.

When you call me your “sister”, that’s a fucking privilege. It’s not some cute word to throw around. Fact: I will always be someone’s sister. I was born a sister. I am a sister to my brother, and to several of my cousins. My best friend and I have basically grown up together, and she is 7000+ miles away. She is 100% my sister. 100% family. She wouldn’t dream of disrespecting our friendship in any way. She would never fly into town and NOT see me. She would never disrespect our friendship, our time, or our bond. I would never disrespect her, either. Alas, I now realize how one-sided this other “friendship” actually was.

I was the support system. The therapist. The one with a fully functioning brain. The one with the grace and maturity I’ve possessed for the majority of my life without truly seeing it until someone pointed it out to me recently. I got nothing out of this relationship, except the feeling that I was always on call, like a doctor. When communication stopped, I felt free. I felt like I hadn’t been able to breathe properly, and suddenly this drain on my life force was no longer present. I was relieved. I was done.

I don’t know if there’s anything salvageable here. The pretty words of apology and love are just that; they’re pretty fucking words that mean nothing to me. They are not the actions of someone who is truly sorry and apologized on their own. I forced it by calling her out, and she would have waited for me to make a move until she died if I hadn’t had that flare of anger. I can legitimately say nothing for the remainder of my life and be good with that. If you’re trying to play the silent treatment game with me, you will lose. It’s NOT a fucking game, it is real life. Friends are not expendable beings.

My closest friends often say, “You’re honest and direct, but you’re also supremely fair. So if someone has pissed you off or hurt you, they deserve whatever you dish out because they didn’t have any respect for you.” That acknowledgement and validation is like music to my ears because it’s pure and true.

I don’t do disrespect in my relationships. I don’t make plans and leave people hanging without a word. I will never intentionally flake out on you. I’m not rude and disrespectful. I will be on my best behavior when you drag the uninvited boyfriend along without telling me in advance. Basically that means I won’t poison his food or accidentally, on purpose, stab him in the neck when he says something disrespectful to you that makes me want to slap him while you sit there and take it. Ultimately, I’m YOUR friend, NOT his, and I reserve the right to judge him. 😉 #BarelyKidding

The one time I had a huge disagreement with a friend, I apologized because I was wrong, but the friendship was very much like this one. I realize that now. I overvalued it because to me, friendship is a commodity I don’t play games with. But there I was; the rock she was desperately holding on to, until a bigger rock came along and I was tossed aside like garbage.

I don’t like leeches and I really don’t like psychic vampires. They are referred to as such because they drain you. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. To the point where you eventually avoid them or cut them loose. Dealing with them causes disabling fatigue. Unfortunately, you can’t increase your iron intake and be good to go. The only way to stop the drain is to deny them access to you.

I have never seen any relationship successfully recover fully from disrespect and a breach of boundaries and trust. I’ve tried with one person in particular. Repeatedly. I inevitably decided five years ago that enough was enough and that if they came back tomorrow, I’d listen, but the friendship would still be over. Essentially, I feel the same about this situation. There’s no emotion involved at all, except the previously aforementioned ambivalence, and that’s no way to rebuild something, or start from scratch with. You can’t slap me and tell me you love me. It doesn’t work that way. It never has.

I’m in control of how accessible I am, so she will be sweating it out for as long as it takes me to be patient enough to listen without rolling my eyes. I make no promises, though.

I am not afraid of confrontation. Not even a little bit. I know who I am. I know where I’m coming from, and I know where I’m going. I can’t save every broken birds’ wings. That is not my job, nor is it a role I want to take on. I wear many hats, but it’s time to send the wrong people packing. They were never meant to be a part of my long-term tribe, and that’s okay. I’ve grown and changed, and the last thing I want to do is take on any type of false superhero aspect. In life, your ultimate, true savior is YOU. Grab a sword and take a stab at it. Please don’t wait for someone to rescue you on a white horse. This only exists in fairytales. Perhaps before you buy into such bullshit, you should read about faeries and learn something.

© 2020 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

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By the way, Peace Talks by Jim Butcher is now available for pre-order. FINALLY! Release day is July 14th. There, I promoted something for another writer. Jim’s a badass wordsmith who shares the same birthday as I do. Give him a shot, and start with Storm Front. You won’t be sorry. #DarkUrbanFantasy

Super Tuesday

I took the morning to research a little more into who I inevitably chose to vote for tonight in the #MassachusettsPrimary. I had to consider my values into the checklist and see if anyone could meet even 60% of what’s important to me, from A to Z.

🚫 I will NOT publicly endorse anyone, EVER. I don’t feel it’s wise, nor is it anyone’s business. I can listen to anyone regarding their interests, but I have to make the best possible decision for me, for my family, for my future, as do we all.

🚫 I am not the woman who falls for bullshit. I am not the woman who supports hate in ANY community or faith. I will not support a lying “How do people fall for this shit?” kind of person. And I will not support anyone who doesn’t understand how our government works. You can’t just make it up as you go along.

🖤 As a registered #Independent, this is too important to grab the wrong ballot or jump on the wrong political actor. Ultimately, they all tell you what you want to hear.

There are so many important factors involved, so I hope we all did our best. This country MUST #DoBetter. You don’t get to bitch about things unless you actively participate. #SuperTuesday #Massachusetts #Vote

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